Congratulations, you’ve got your full licence! Enjoy your new freedom but remember that passing your driving test does not mean you know everything there is to know about driving: it’s the first step in learning to be a skilled driver. You’ll keep learning as long as you’re driving and you should reflect on your experiences, so that you learn from them.
Try to keep up the high standard you showed to your examiner on the day of your test; that way you know you are going to be a safer driver and less likely to develop bad habits when you are on your own.
The statistics tell us that new drivers are most likely to be involved in incidents on the road during their first year of driving unsupervised, so have a look at the Safety code for new drivers on GOV.UK. It’s designed to help keep you safe after you pass your test.
Although you’ve learned about driving on a motorway, as a learner (and depending on where you live), any experience you may have had with your instructor will have been limited. Find out more about motorway driving. Ask your instructor for a motorway driving lesson so that you can get more experience before driving on a motorway on your own.
You’re also likely to find yourself driving in weather conditions that you’ve not driven in before. Take care when driving in conditions you’re not familiar with: remember the more speed, the more time it will take to stop.
Now you have your pink licence, there are more advanced driving skills you can start to learn. As well as making you safer as a driver, doing extra training can give you discounts on car insurance. See our Further training advice for more information.
The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – the essential skills is a really useful reference book to help you improve your skills and remind you about what you learned before you passed your test.
Driving with friends
It’s great being able to drive with your friends, but make sure you keep concentrating on your driving. If your friends want you to do something that could be dangerous, remember that you’re responsible for your driving: if you drive recklessly or carelessly, you could end up with penalty points on your licence or cause a serious crash.
If your passengers are making it difficult for you to drive safely, find somewhere safe to stop. Explain to them why what they’re doing is causing a problem and ask them to help you by behaving properly, or to get out of the car. If you cannot drive safely, do not carry on with your journey.
Being able to drive makes it easier for you to go out for a drink or to a party with friends. It’s only fair to take it in turns to be the driver, but having that job means it’s your responsibility to make sure you can drive safely – including not drinking any alcohol. A third of drink-drive accidents involve a driver under 25. Find out more about drinking and driving.
If you get 6 or more penalty points on your licence within 2 years of passing your practical test, you’ll lose your licence and you’ll have to reapply for your provisional licence. You’ll be a learner driver again and you’ll have to retake your theory and practical tests. Find out more about the new drivers' rules at GOV.UK.
Penalty points can be given for all sorts of driving-related offences, such as speeding or driving dangerously.
Safe driving for life
Finally, never stop learning and developing as a driver. You will gain in experience and need to be self-aware to guard against bad habits creeping in. Life may present unexpected turns of events that might change the kinds of roads you experience, the way you feel about risks and the way you empathise with others, including other road users. Your emotions and mental and physical wellbeing will vary sometimes, presenting you with new challenges. And technology will certainly change the way vehicles and roads are connected and operated.